I am, on an almost daily basis, thankful for the stroke of luck that saw me conceived by western parents in a western country. Life, despite it's various challenges, is generally much better than the lives of the majority of the world. Of course, the added bonus of being born in this part of the world is that I was also born male, so my already OK life was going to be significantly more OK. However, even were I born female, this is still probably the better part of the world to be a woman, despite the continued existence of patriarchal superiority.
So, as I go about life, generally happy with my lot and pleased to be born and living where I am, I often allow myself to be unjustly pleased with how socially developed and progressive we are compared to other parts of the world - I mean, at least women can drive here, right? - but then I find out about a Facebook page such as the Holyland LAD Stories page. Then I want to fucking scream.
Like many, I suspect, I found out about the page from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19850826) and was, like many, I hope, mightily disappointed that this kind of nonsense, so prevalent in England right now, was now here in Northern Ireland. To clarify: the 'nonsense' I'm referring to is the LAD 'brand'.
The whole theme of LAD seems to be 'banter' about women and drink with a particular focus on the former. There seems to be a fondness for tales of conquests and sexual disasters where, with almost no exception, the women of the tales are referred to in exclusively derogatory terms: slag, slut, beast, ugly mare etc and their features critiqued in the bluntest and most offensive ways: lumpy tits, flabby arse, smelly fanny etc. All of this is passed off as banter.
Harmless fun, apparently. Anyone who doesn't see the comedy is a humourless, man hating feminist. Were I to go on the site and state my view, it wouldn't be long before one of the 'lads' helpfully informed me that my attitude of respecting women wouldn't make feminists have sex with me. That's how they see things; if you're not laughing with them, then there must be some hidden agenda because how could you not laugh at their incredible wit?
What I have never understood and, frankly, am never likely to, is the logic at play. It's evident that most of the contributors are fond of having sex and, from their contributions, it would appear the more sex they can have, with as many women as possible, the better. Now, I have no problem with that at all - people should have more sex, more often in my view. But these 'lads' seem to think that the best way to achieve their aim - getting laid - is to portray sex as somehow shameful, as though women who enjoy sex on the same terms as them are to be denigrated. They are sluts, slags, whores.
That's not banter. It's just downright nasty. It is sexism at best, misogyny at worst. And to top it off, it's self defeating too.